The Charlotte News

Friday, October 31, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.N. troops struggled toward the crest of "Triangle Hill" in a cold, hard rain this date after twice losing the position on the Korean central front to Chinese troops. At nightfall, the Chinese still held the crest and the allied infantrymen withdrew from the close-quarters hand grenade fighting. Later on Friday, 175 survivors of three units cut off while trying to take the crest of "Triangle" were found, though some were badly wounded. An American officer at the scene had stated that the heroism of the two isolated units, plus that of a third unit which was cut up, prevented a breakthrough by the Chinese. An entire allied company had been trapped on the crest early Friday when 2,000 enemy troops overwhelmed the U.N. troops in the worst setback of the 18-day seesaw battle for "Triangle" and nearby "Sniper Ridge". Associated Press correspondent John Randolph reported from the front that enemy machine gun fire had stalled the second allied counter-attack in mid-afternoon about 150 yards from the crest. It was the longest continuous battle since the allies had taken "Heartbreak Ridge" on the eastern front the previous November.

The Defense Department identified an additional 539 casualties from the war, including 47 killed, 443 wounded, 11 missing and 38 injured in non-combat incidents.

It was revealed that General James Van Fleet, commander of the U.S. Eighth Army in Korea, had requested that South Korean forces be doubled, from 10 to 20 divisions, a request which was opposed as premature by former U.N. supreme commander General Matthew Ridgway, a position upheld by the Joint Chiefs and by Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett. The Defense Department stated that it had been carrying out a long-range program to turn over defense of Korea to the South Koreans as soon as leaders could be trained and seasoned in combat. Present supreme commander of the U.N. forces, General Mark Clark, had pursued that program and submitted a longer-range proposal for further expansion, which was presently being studied by the Pentagon. The New York Daily News published a story this date saying that General Van Fleet was being relieved for writing a letter quoted in a campaign speech by General Eisenhower, stating that he supported replacing American troops with Korean troops on the front lines as soon as possible, but the White House denied the report and the Army and Defense Departments and General Clark's Tokyo headquarters also denied receiving any orders from the White House to relieve General Van Fleet.

Governor Stevenson had departed his campaign train this date to fly back to Illinois to cope with a prison riot. The train continued on with Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas standing in at the whistle stops through Maryland, West Virginia and Delaware. Senator Fulbright said that the Governor had already made his views plain and talked sense to the American people in a way they seldom had heard in past campaigns, expressed the belief that the Governor had the "probability" of being a truly great president. It was understood that the Governor's staff was trying to get Vice-President Alben Barkley to stand in for the Governor until he returned. The suspension of the campaign had occurred suddenly the previous night in Pittsburgh, where the Governor had received an enthusiastic response from an audience of 13,000 at the Hunt Armory. He had said that the "great crusade" of General Eisenhower had become "the great masquerade". He then took a tour of the city in an open convertible, waving to supporters along the streets until close to midnight, but after reaching his hotel, had a hurried conference with members of his staff, at which the decision was made to suspend his campaign to attend to the prison riot.

At Chester, Ill., the prisoners ended the four-day rebellion this date and released their seven hostages prior to Governor Stevenson carrying out plans to deliver a personal appeal to them in person at the prison. An ultimatum had been delivered to the prisoners by the State director of public safety, that unless they surrendered, heavily-armed State troopers would cut through the cell-house doors with torches and then use whatever force was necessary to restore order. The prisoners gave up and marched back to their cells. The Governor was presumed to be in the prison yard at the time of the surrender. The prisoners had been without food for nearly five days.

Under such conditions, all they really needed to do was fire up some ovens and cook enough apple pies that the odor would pervade the prison.

In Silver Spring, Md., the Governor's train had overshot its scheduled stopping place, at which point it suddenly backed up toward a crowd which had pressed around the rear car. Shouts of "stop the train" were heard, as the crowd scrambled to get out of the way. The train stopped without hitting anyone. Several persons had been knocked down in the rush to clear the tracks. A similar incident had occurred during the Dewey campaign in 1948.

General Eisenhower headed for Chicago by plane this date after three days in New York. In his last speech the previous night before a capacity crowd of 23,000 at Madison Square Garden, he said that the Democrats were trying to destroy him with "wild charges", "vile rumors" and playing "fast and loose with the truth". Finding the the campaign to have been "shocking", he contended that the Democrats were reacting to the unification of the Republican Party. He reasserted that he had made no deals in the campaign and that no one had a claim on him, had received a promise from him or captured him. For more than four hours before the General appeared, movie stars, sports figures, singers, dancers, political leaders and more than 20 women from various walks of life had paraded across the stage. Governor Stevenson had spoken to a capacity crowd at the Garden two nights earlier.

The President this date, speaking in Toledo, accused General Eisenhower of making a reckless and cynical attempt to obtain votes by dividing the nation over the Korean War. He said that the General, when he had been chief of staff of the Army, had played a major role in shaping the foreign policy which he was now condemning. He said that the General had been trying to "squirm out" of responsibility for his having recommended the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Korea about six months before the invasion of South Korea by North Korea. He described it as a "cheap trick" which he must have learned from his "new gutter playmate and political ally", Senator McCarthy. The President would deliver a major speech this night in Cincinnati. The previous night, the President had spoken to an estimated crowd of 6,200 in Detroit, about 2,000 less than the seating capacity. He assured the crowd that Governor Stevenson had made no commitments to him and that he had not asked for any, and that in a Stevenson presidency, his ideas and the men around him would be his own.

UMW president John L. Lewis and the anthracite coal operators were reported this date to have agreed on a new contract following a bargaining session during the morning, with announcement of the agreement expected in the afternoon, indications being that the average agreed wage increase would be about $1.90 per day or slightly less, the same negotiated increase for the soft coal miners, which had been cut by the Wage Stabilization Board by 40 cents, prompting the strike two weeks earlier which had been called off by Mr. Lewis the previous Monday after consulting with the President on Sunday at the White House. The negotiated increase for the anthracite miners would also be subject to scrutiny by the WSB.

In Fernandina Beach, Fla., the man being sought as a principal in a two-state kidnapping spree the previous week had been apprehended with a prison escapee whom he had freed from jail, and two of the eight persons they had kidnapped during an all-night race through Florida had been freed. He was the last of three suspects sought for the two-day spree through Georgia and Tennessee, during which they had held 20 persons at one time or another. None of the victims were harmed.

In Rochester, Ind., a teacher and his twin brother took direct action when the teacher's left hand had been caught in a corn picker the previous day. After hearing his brother's cries for help, he cut off the arm two inches above the wrist with a pocket knife, and the teacher used his free hand to apply a tourniquet with a handkerchief. His condition was listed as fair.

In Lynwood, California, a stork created a housing crisis with the Storc family, who had been living in a one-bedroom apartment in Huntington Beach. The couple had triplets and had to search for a new home, the mother indicating that the doctor had never informed her of the prospect of three babies.

The weather forecast for election day in Charlotte the following Tuesday was fair and mild, with a high predicted near 70. In 1948, the mercury had hit 71, with a light rain falling in the late afternoon and evening hours.

You don't need a weatherman, however, to know which way the wind is going to blow.

On the editorial page, "Good Omen for Immigration Reform" indicates that the presidential candidates were united against the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act, calling for its revision. Many prominent churchmen of all of the major faiths had joined in the effort, as had the CIO and AFL. The only groups supporting the Act were the patriotic societies, such as the DAR, the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Wheel of Progress, the Society of the War of 1812, and the like.

The defects and injustices of the law were being recognized, and it was to be hoped that it would be revised during the ensuing Congress. Much of the criticism of it had been centered on the rigidity of the existing quota system, based on the number of persons of a particular national origin in the country in 1920.

North Carolina Senator Willis Smith had joined its author in defending the Act, arguing that the quota system prevented a "flood of immigration". But under its present quotas, only a trickle of immigration was occurring. The largest quotas went to the Western European countries which did not use them. It thus believes that there was a good case for replacing the quota system with a percentage system, permitting the annual entry of one immigrant for every so many American citizens, regardless of origin. The quota system, it indicates, was a bigoted and unwarranted prejudice not in keeping with the country's role as leader of the free world. Relatively few foreigners actually wanted to immigrate. Those immigrants from within the Western Hemisphere could enter free of any quota, and had not flooded into the U.S.

As it presently existed, the quota system deprived entry to many desirable persons, while opening the doors to those who did not want to enter. It finds it "patently absurd" and hopes that the next Congress and President would return to the "simple, old truth that desire to come to America is the main requirement for admission."

Oh, no, let's build a Wall to keep them out and save our jobs, and go to Russia and the Ukraine for aid in winning elections. That's the Amurican Way! Make Amurica Grate Agin.

"To the Point" tells of the Westchester County, N.Y., post of the American Legion having decided to investigate Communism at Sarah Lawrence College, prompting residents of the area to come to the defense of the College. A prominent churchman had written the Legion commander that "thought control wrapped in the American flag is just as repugnant and dangerous as thought control bearing the stamp of the hammer and sickle." He recommended calling the FBI if they thought that citizens were engaged in subversive activities.

The piece finds it a reminder to everyone that the nation, in combating Communists, had to rely on professionals and not amateurs, however well meaning they might be.

"Oliphant Is Back in Business" finds that the Treasury Department had stretched a point in permitting Charles Oliphant, the former chief counsel of the IRB, to practice before the Department. He had resigned from the IRB the previous December during the House subcommittee inquiry into income tax scandals, amid testimony that he had allowed cases to drag until the statute of limitations had run out and had accepted favors from persons with tax difficulties. No direct charges were ever brought against him and no disciplinary action took place.

Federal law prohibited a former employee of the Government to act as agent in a claim against the Government for a period of two years following departure from Government service. But the Treasury Department had ruled that a former employee could appear as counsel in cases against the Government, provided the person would swear lack of knowledge of the particular case while having been in Government service.

It suggests that Mr. Oliphant, as general counsel of the IRB, while perhaps not having known of every case before the Bureau, had been the final legal authority within the Bureau and so the piece finds the Department ruling to evade the law.

"James A. Gray" laments the untimely death of Mr. Gray at 63, having been one of the most valuable and influential citizens of the state and Forsyth County. He had been president and later chairman of the board of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. He had also been a County Commissioner and served in the North Carolina Senate, contributing to the development of the state's stable budget and tax system. He had worked hard on behalf of religious causes and engaged in plentiful philanthropy for religious and educational purposes. He had been a quiet, friendly man, possessed of a remarkable memory for names and faces, and had known thousands of his fellow citizens. He lived modestly, without show, and his death would be widely mourned.

A piece from the Wall Street Journal, titled "Joke with a Point", indicates that recently, Benjamin Fairless, chairman of U.S. Steel, had outlined a concise plan for ultimate control of the company by the workers, something which United Steelworkers president Philip Murray had long wanted. Mr. Fairless had indicated that they should buy control of the company through its stock, something which the 300,000 employees could do within seven years with a weekly investment of five dollars to purchase 87 shares each. The total purchase would cost them about the same as a new automobile. At that point, the steelworkers could elect their own board of directors and officers, and set their own policies.

There would be problems, it ventures, as currently 87 shares brought in only $261 in annual dividends, and so it wonders whether Mr. Murray would then call a strike of the worker-owners against the owner-workers.

The plan had been put forth only in a jocular manner, but there was common sense behind it, as well as a warning, like the one about the man who killed the goose which laid the golden egg. The proposal put more responsibility on Mr. Murray than he likely wanted, as he would have to see to it that the company paid a high wage to the workers while remaining solvent so that it could continue to pay the high wages, a much harder job than calling a strike. It concludes that it was likely that Mr. Murray would not want to be part of it.

Drew Pearson tells of the late Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan having been troubled during the latter years of his life with severe headaches from the brain tumor which eventually caused his death. When Mr. Pearson had dropped in to see him one afternoon, it had been obvious that he was not feeling well, but he said that his headaches were not half as bad as those given him by some of his Republican colleagues in the Senate. At the time he was trying to put across the appropriations for the Marshall Plan and explained that nearly every night, Republican isolationists were meeting privately to hatch their own strategy against him. He named Senators William Jenner of Indiana, James Kem of Missouri, Arthur Watkins of Utah, Joseph McCarthy, Zales Ecton of Montana, Harry Cain of Washington, and John Bricker of Ohio.

In recognition of Senator Vandenberg's bipartisan approach to foreign policy, his friend, Paul Hoffman, then head of Studebaker, was named as the top administrator of the Marshall Plan. The Plan had an essential role in stopping the spread of Communism in Western Europe and Senator Vandenberg and Mr. Hoffman, along with the authors of the Marshall Plan, deserved credit for it. Mr. Hoffman left his post to join the Ford Foundation and head the Citizens for Eisenhower committee, believing that the General presented the best chance of retaining that nonpartisan approach to foreign policy. He was also instrumental in getting the General nominated by the Republicans. But since that time, the General had embraced those same Senators who had caused Senator Vandenberg headaches, and Mr. Hoffman had been strangely silent. So had General Omar Bradley, who had originally strongly supported General Eisenhower, but now had changed his mind.

General Eisenhower was taking a calculated risk in embracing the isolationists, on the theory that after he became President, he could crack the whip on those Senators and keep them in line. That would probably work for the first two years, but after patronage ran out and the jobs were filled, the isolationists would be just as difficult for a President Eisenhower as they had been for Senator Vandenberg.

He observes that history had shown, as with Secretaries of State Frank Kellogg and Henry Stimson, during the Coolidge and Hoover Administrations, respectively, that Republican Presidents obtained better cooperation from Democratic Senators than from Republicans.

Joseph Alsop, with Governor Stevenson's campaign, records the mood of Governor Stevenson's high command in the closing days of the campaign as being mixed. They were confident because they honestly believed that there had been a major swing toward the Governor in recent weeks, but were also afraid because they believed that swing might have begun too late. There had been a shift toward deference to the old political pros, such as Jim Farley, formerly not held in high regard in the Stevenson campaign. Mr. Farley was chosen to rejoinder against Senator McCarthy's attack on Governor Stevenson, seeking to associate the Governor with Alger Hiss. Tom Nash of Chicago and Dan O'Connell of Albany, N.Y., were also much quoted in recent days. Mr. Nash had forecast a solid Democratic victory in doubtful Illinois and Mr. O'Connell had predicted that Albany County, which generally reflected the swings of upstate New York, would vote for Governor Stevenson by 25,000 votes, a larger majority than in any recent presidential election.

While the evidence showed that General Eisenhower had unprecedented strength among upstate New Yorkers, the opinion of Mr. O'Connell, who was one of the last surviving city bosses with precinct-by-precinct control, could not lightly be brushed aside. Yet, constant repetition of such isolated optimism was always a bad sign around any political headquarters.

The Governor, himself, his campaign manager, Wilson Wyatt, and DNC chairman, Stephen Mitchell, and their co-workers all seemed genuinely optimistic about winning. They believed the Democrats would continue to carry the South, with the probable exception of Virginia, and thought they would carry most of the border states, with Maryland being the most dangerous exception. They were gloomy about the Midwest, but predicted that they would carry at least Illinois and Minnesota. They also expected to carry New York, California, Rhode Island, Washington, probably Massachusetts, possibly Connecticut, and perhaps Pennsylvania. Those states would provide the Governor with a large electoral college majority, but based on a smaller than usual popular vote victory.

That theory was based on a series of assumptions, that the black vote was would be larger and more solid than ever, that the Republicans had made little inroads in the foreign-descended groups, with the exception of the Irish, that labor was aroused and solid, that the Eisenhower movement in the South had not shifted the basic Democratic vote in that region, and that independent voters favored the Governor. Those assumptions were arguable, with the possible exception of the latter, as it was clear that independent and doubtful voters were flocking to the Governor.

Mr. Alsop observes that after many weeks of traveling with both the Eisenhower and Stevenson campaigns, he was more uncertain about the outcome of the election than at the start and had little faith in either the Stevenson theories of victory or any other theories.

Marquis Childs indicates that both campaigns believed that the outcome of the election would be decided in New York City, determining the outcome for New York State with its 45 electoral votes. At present, things could go either way, as acknowledged by both sides. The vote in New York State could be as high as seven million, divided roughly equally between the city and upstate. It was likely that General Eisenhower's support would be greater than that of Governor Dewey in 1948, who had carried the state by fewer than 100,000 votes out of about six million cast.

Governor Stevenson, therefore, would need to obtain a majority of at least 650,000 in the city to have hope of victory. But if the enthusiasm of the crowds which had turned out to see him was any indication, he might achieve that result. In Harlem, he was greeted with the same kind of wild enthusiasm which had greeted FDR during the Thirties. Though late at night, an estimated 125,000 people had turned out to see him. There were areas of doubt in the Puerto Rican vote, which had increased markedly in recent years as Puerto Ricans flooded into New York, without the need for passports or visas to move from the overcrowded island. They lived in sub-standard housing, which might be a cut above what they had left behind. In 1948, they had voted for Henry Wallace, who received more than 400,000 votes in the city and nearly 100,000 upstate. The question in 1952 would be whether those voters would be motivated to go to the polls, as Governor Stevenson's message did not promise the same kind of heaven which former Vice-President Wallace had four years earlier.

Another question mark was in the Liberal Party, whose leaders were working to supply the margin of victory to Governor Stevenson, dependent on the number of independent voters who would switch at the last minute to the Governor. The message of Senator McCarthy could prove a decisive influence negatively, and if enough independent voters were repelled by it, it could supply the 50,000 or 60,000 margin of votes for the necessary large majority to be rolled up in the city for the Governor. The strategy was to stress General Eisenhower's endorsement of Senators McCarthy and Jenner, in the hope of attracting those independent voters.

General Eisenhower, during his campaigning in New York, had demonstrated far more confidence and assurance than previously, though sometimes still hesitant and uncertain in reading long, prepared speeches. But he had made the transition from being a General to being a political campaigner.

The editors begin the long letters column with a note that they were going to endeavor to print all letters received regarding the election right up to election day the following Tuesday, but could not guarantee publication of any letters received after 9:00 a.m. the following morning. Better stay up late and write out your letters, go to the post office first thing. Try to salt it down a little less though with the barnyard fertilizer in the meantime.

A letter writer finds it to the credit of Congressman Hamilton Jones that he had run a clean campaign "in a most Christian manner". She says that he had engaged in no mudslinging and had not sought to sell himself on elaborate radio or television shows or on billboards, instead relying on his record.

A letter writer commends the newspaper for its endorsement of General Eisenhower and comments on a letter published October 28, which had said that the General should never have made the statement that he would reduce the armed forces payroll if he wanted to win. This writer says that she had read all of the General's speeches and had not heard any on radio or television in which he had made such a statement, and believes he had not done so. She thinks that the former letter writer had been listening to a Democrat, perhaps "the great Harry" or Governor Stevenson, "who is following in his footsteps." She says that she intends to vote for General Eisenhower.

A letter writer from Lancaster, S.C., indicates that she was shocked to read that the newspaper had endorsed General Eisenhower, wishes to impart a joke about the Republicans: A young man who knew little about animals had decided to buy a book about them and one day saw a billy goat with its tail raised high, chewing under an apple tree, and after looking through the book and being unable to find a picture of it, said that he knew what it was, a Republican—"always chewing the rag and showing his tail." She finds that "pretty good" and believes that there would be many unhappy Republicans on election day.

A better one would have had a snake, disappearing down by the watergate.

A letter writer from Belmont indicates that it was one of the best election years through which he had ever lived, with sentiment about evenly matched. He says that he lived in Belmont and worked in Rock Hill, S.C., and both places appeared fearful of having speeches for General Eisenhower. He thinks that a rally would do the people good, so that they could talk about the Truman Administration and why they were switching from one party to another.

A letter writer from Albemarle, a doctor, indicates that there had never been a campaign in American history in which a retiring President had gone out on a whistle-stop campaign "to slug 'His Boy's' party opponent, leaving the White House, and all the duties of the President, for which we all are paying him to attend to." He says that the President was neglecting his duties and hitting completely below the belt in so doing, telling the people falsehoods. He predicts that the people would not be fooled again, because they knew that Governor Stevenson was the President's "hand-picked man, to take the job as President". The President had called each play at the convention and Governor Stevenson was drafted by him. He believes that he wanted the Governor elected "to whitewash all the Administration's rotten crookedness in government, and the Communist infiltration of every department of government under the executive branch of the government."

You must have been dabbling in your own prescriptions.

A letter writer from Morganton tells of a well-known North Carolinian, a former Governor, Senator and Congressman, who had made a speech in 1920 in the courthouse in Shelby, consoling his Democratic audience with the news that Senator Warren Harding was about to be elected President, saying that by the good graces of the Democratic Party in the state, the people still had states' rights, local self-government and individual liberty. The writer suggests that in 1952, the voting strength of the Democratic and Republican parties of the state were wondering what had become of states' rights and local self-government within the state. "The people are now wondering if the Truman-Acheson itinerary is not just a wee bit obnoxious to this apostle." He believes that a vote for General Eisenhower and for "Raper Jonas"—choosing, for some odd reason, the man's middle name rather than his first name, Charles—, would be the "remedy for peace and contentment once again in this country."

He apparently was referring earlier to Cameron Morrison.

A letter writer from Spartanburg, S.C., says that he wants all of the newspaper's readers to know that he was one man who was against Governor James Byrnes and everything for which he stood. He says that if the Governor had died three years earlier, he would have gone down in his book as a great statesman, on the level with former Secretary of State Cornell Hull, but had instead turned his back on the Democratic Party and the people of Spartanburg County, who had made him what he was. He suggests that Mr. Byrnes was not satisfied with being the "dictator of South Carolina" but wanted to be the dictator of the nation. He says that the Governor was not against the Truman Administration, but rather had developed his positions out of "personal jealousy" and was using the people of South Carolina as a weapon with which to fight the President. He tells of the Governor having just made a radio appeal to the people of the state to amend the State Constitution to abolish the public schools, and the letter writer indicates that it was better for his child to go to school with black students that not to go at all. He says that "Jimmy" reminded him of the "little corporal who became dictator of Germany."

A letter writer indicates that after having read most of the letters and comments regarding the coming election, he wished to have one question answered, that if former Governor and Senator Cameron Morrison was doing most or all of the campaigning for Representative Hamilton Jones, who would do the work.

A letter writer from Spartanburg, S.C., indicates that it should be easy to decide how to vote in the presidential election, that since "the big shots" were voting for General Eisenhower, "the little man" should vote for Governor Stevenson. He says that the Republicans were on record as having done more for the big shots than the little shot. He asks whether South Carolinians were again going to be on the losing side, as they had been in 1948 when they voted for the Dixiecrats. "Thank the Lord big business cannot make the little man vote his way, he can only suggest to an employee how to vote." He indicates that Governor Byrnes would have the citizenry vote for General Eisenhower but he could not make them so vote, and if he had ever been for the little man, it was on the order of 10 percent, while being 90 percent for the big shots.

A letter from former Republican Congressional candidate P. C. Burkholder indicates that if the people were going to elect General Eisenhower President, they should make sure that they gave him a Republican Congress and Senate also. He adds that he knew Charles Jonas personally and could recommend him to any voter as a "real gentleman, capable in every respect to represent us".

But does he like country buttermilk?

A letter writer agrees with another letter writer that the country did not want to go back to the days of the Hoover depression by electing a Republican as President, or to the "'prosperity'" of the Harding and Coolidge Administrations. He indicates that in those times, wages had been $15 to $18 per week, beefsteak cost 30 cents per pound, pork chops, a quarter, a pair of overalls, a dollar, a shirt, 75 cents, and a meal with drink and dessert, 30 cents. There had been no income tax, no sales tax and the Government did not tell the people what to do and what not to do. He says that in those times, a Southern Democrat would go to a national convention and not be "insulted and ignored by a bunch of Yankee radicals". He suggests, sarcastically, that he and the previous letter writer would prefer to have the "days of war and high taxes and dollar-a-pound beef."

There was an income tax. Perhaps, you didn't pay any because of your small income. We guess he is being sarcastic, but maybe he's being serious. Sometimes, the reader has a hard time discerning some of these letters. There is something big about the letter though.

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